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$50,000 Critic and Conscience of Society Award 2024 open for applications

Applications are now open for the 2024 Critic and Conscience of Society Award.

The award, sponsored by philanthropic trust The Gama Foundation encourages academics to fulfil their role under the Education and Training Act 2020, which requires universities to act as the critic and conscience of society.

This year the award went to Dr Dean Knight, Associate Professor of Law at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington for his tireless work spearheading major debate within areas of public law.

Past winners include:

– 2022: Professor Janet Hoek from the University of Otago

– 2021: Professor Alexander Gillespie from the University of Waikato and Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles from the University of Auckland

– 2020: Professor Michael Baker and Professor Anita Gibbs from the University of Otago

– 2019: Professor Andrew Geddis from the University of Otago

– 2018: Professor Ann Brower from the University of Canterbury

– 2017: Dr Mike Joy from Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.

Each year, the award is given to an academic staff member who, in the opinion of a panel of three independent judges, has done more in the past two calendar years than any other applicant to provide the public with independent, expert commentary on an issue or issues affecting New Zealand communities or future generations.

The award’s $50,000 grant is to help with research, conferences and other work-related expenses.

The award is administered by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara. It is not necessary to be nominated and academics can apply via an online form. Previous winners are not eligible to reapply for five years since their award.

The closing date for applications is 28 February 2024.


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